OBG Event

24 Aug 2012

Report charts efforts to build investor confidence as post-flood recovery gains pace

The resilience Thailand’s economy has shown following last year’s devastating floods, particularly across parts of its industrial sector, is mapped out in a new guide to investing in the country.

The Report: Thailand 2012, published by the global publishing, research and consultancy firm Oxford Business Group (OBG), produced with research assistance from the Board of Investment (BOI), BDO, Thanachart Securities PLC and Tilleke and Gibbins, provides extensive coverage of the country’s moves to expand its economic base and diversify its trade routes in preparation for ASEAN integration.

The landmark report will be launched on August 24th at the Okura Prestige Hotel, Bangkok. Around 200 VIP guests are expected to attend the launch, including Minister of Industry Pongsavas Svasti and the Secretary-General of the Thailand Board of Investment Dr. Atchaka Sibunruang who will speak at the event.

The Report: Thailand 2012 contains a key contribution from His Majesty the King of Thailand Bhumibol Adulyadej, together with a detailed, sector-by-sector guide for investors. It also provides a wide range of interviews with leading political, economic and business representatives, including the Prime Minister of Thailand Yingluck Shinawatra, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Kittiratt Na-Ranong, the Governor of the Bank of Thailand Prasarn Trairatvorakul and the Chairman and President of Saha Pathanapibul Group Boonchai Chokwatana.

International personalities, such as the UK Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs William Hague, the former Prime Minister of the UK Tony Blair and the Secretary-General of ASEAN Surin Pitsuwan also offer their views on Thailand’s economic development.

The Report: Thailand 2012 charts the country’s economic recovery following what proved to be its worst monsoon flooding in 50 years. It gauges the industrial sector’s ongoing programme of repairing factory damage and restoring operations while considering the government’s growth estimates for 2012 which, at 5-6%, include promising forecasts for key segments of industry and manufacturing.

With transport infrastructure high on the government’s agenda, OBG’s new report looks in detail at the major projects earmarked for Thailand which include the construction of a high-speed railway, new port facilities and the expansion of Suvarnabhumi Airport. There is also in-depth analysis of the construction industry which, after struggling in the last quarter of 2011, is now playing a key role in the country’s rebuilding efforts.

The Group’s latest report on Thailand maps out the country’s preparations for ASEAN integration in 2015 which is expected to bring greater intraregional exchange and an opening up of the markets. The Report: Thailand 2012 also gives details of the government’s plans to build on the country’s well-established tourism sector by driving growth in the Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions (MICE) segment and attracting visitors from further afield as well as building up regional tourist sources.

OBG has drawn on the expertise of the country’s Board of Investment (BOI) for its new report, with additional support during the compilation of research provided by Thanachart Securities, the accountancy firm BDO and the law company Tilleke and Gibbins.

OBG’s Regional Editor Paulius Kuncinas said that while the floods and political uncertainty had undoubtedly tested Thailand, the speed of the country’s recovery, together with its success in maintaining private sector growth momentum, would instil confidence in investors.

He acknowledged, however, that Thailand faced a number of challenges to its economic development, such as an over-reliance on exports and a heavy regulatory framework. “We think Thailand retains a competitive edge globally and in the region in automotives, electronics, food processing and tourism, but lags behind some of its ASEAN peers in logistics, telecoms, IT and the financial sector,” he said. “We would like to see the regulators focus their attention on improving access to these growth sectors for both foreign and local capital through lighter and more transparent rules and regulations.”

Editorial Director Peter Grimsditch thanked the Group’s partners for their assistance in the information-gathering process for The Report: Thailand 2012.

“This has been a challenging year for Thailand as it grapples with the aftermath of unexpected, catastrophic floods while driving growth in new segments of its economy and preparing for ASEAN integration,” said Grimsditch. “I am confident that the local knowledge and expertise of our partners has helped us to produce a report which will provide business leaders with a valuable overview of Thailand’s numerous investment opportunities at an important juncture in the country’s development.”

The Report: Thailand 2012 marks the culmination of more than 11 months of field research by a team of analysts from OBG. It will be a vital guide to the many facets of the country, including its macroeconomics, infrastructure, banking and other sectoral developments. The Report: Thailand 2012 will be available in print or online.